Democracy Promotion as US Foreign Policy : Bill Clinton and Democratic Enlargement
The role of democracy promotion in US foreign policy has increased considerably in the last three decades, booming especially in the immediate years after the end of the Cold War. The rise of democracy promotion originates in a long historical tradition that sees exporting American political values as instrumental in securing US security and economic interests, which was given free rein to be expressed once Cold War strategic constraints disappeared. Under Bill Clinton, there was an explicit attempt to do so by reframing American strategy in terms of ‘democratic enlargement’ and this book will assess the strategic use of democracy promotion in US foreign policy and its different outcomes during his presidency.
Rather than focusing on a single country or region case study, this book will offer an unprecedented comprehensive, global review of American democracy engagement with different regions of the world and key countries during a whole presidency – and how much the US benefited from this. It will evaluate the instrumental value of democracy promotion for America by seeing whether the Clinton administration’s efforts in this field, and their varying impacts to democratization abroad, were matched by progress in securing US strategic goals defined under enlargement, in particular reducing international conflicts and spreading economic liberalization around the world. The book will set out how democracy came to be seen as central to US post-Cold War strategy, how the Clinton administration developed the concept of democratic enlargement and tried to implement it, and why it remained influential on foreign policy throughout Clinton’s presidency. The book concludes by considering the democracy promotion legacies and lessons from the Clinton administration, and places then in the context of subsequent policies under George W. Bush and Barack Obama.